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Writing Opportunities

The National Poetry Competition 2021

Information
Closing date: 
31 October 2021
Entry: 
Open to anyone 18 or over from all over the world to enter an unpublished poem of up to 40 lines. Entry fee £7 for first entry, £4 for subsequent entries
Prize: 
First Prize: £5,000, Second Prize £2,000 and Third Prize £1,000, 7 Commendations £200

The National Poetry CompetitionAnnual poetry prize run by the UK-based Poetry Society established in 1978; accepts entries from all over the world; over 10,000 poems submitted each year

The 2021 National Poetry Competition is one of the world's most prestigious prizes for an unpublished poem of up to 40 lines, open to anyone internationally who is 18 or over. It is judged anonymously and has been won by celebrated poets and by newcomers.

Ten Prizes

First Prize: £5000
Second Prize: £2000
Third Prize: £1000
Commendations: £200

Judges

Fiona Benson, David Constantine and Rachel Long

More details

Chicken House Open Coop

Information
Closing date: 
20 September 2021
Entry: 
Open to writers of children’s novels for 7 up including YA. No entry fee
Prize: 
Mentoring

24-hour open submissions period window will be open on 20 September only

The day is for finished or unfinished novels for children aged 7 up to (and including) YA, and offers the chance to gain mentorship from a member of the editorial team.

Writers selected for the last Open Coop include Alison Weatherby (The Secrets Act) and Sabine Adeyinka (Jummy at the River School), both of whom went on to sign publishing contracts with Chicken House and are publishing in January 2022.

In a statement Chicken House described how the process works:

'Our editorial team (consisting of Rachel Leyshon, Barry Cunningham and Kesia Lupo) will pick their favourite submissions to receive feedback and mentoring. We'd love to help writers develop their idea or draft into a fully-fledged children's novel with expert editorial input.

'Submissions are open for one day only - 20th Sept 2021. Full details on what and how to submit, along with FAQs, can be found at chickenhousebooks.com.

'Although we encourage submissions of children's and YA novels of all themes and subjects, here are a few ‘wish lists' from our three editors ...

'Barry loves an animal story, he still believes in the special magic between children and creatures wild and (apparently) familiar!

'Kesia is particularly interested in YA horror, thrillers and suspense - especially if the author and characters are from underrepresented groups. A strong romantic subplot would be a bonus!

'Rachel would especially like to see more stories about disability, and stories (about anything) written by authors with disabilities.'

More details

 

Aesthetica Creative Writing Award 2021

Information
Closing date: 
31 August 2021
Entry: 
Open to all. Entry fee Poetry entries £12 | Short Fiction entries £18
Prize: 
£2,500 awarded to both the Poetry and Short Fiction winners and publication in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Anthology, which is awarded to 60 writers, shortlisted by the judging panel.

The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award is an international literary prize that is a hotbed for new talent in Poetry and Short Fiction. Now in its 15th year, the Prize supports both emerging and established writers. By entering, writers can showcase their work to key industry figures and organisations including The Poetry SocietyLively and well-presented UK site supporting poetry with 4,000 members internationally and some thoughtful content. www.poetrysociety.org.uk, Granta, VINTAGE and more.

The Short Fiction and Poetry winners have gone to achieve widespread acclaim, including nominations for the T. S. Eliot Prize and Forward Prize. The prize attracts thousands of entries each year from across the world and is an outstanding resource to discover the best new voices in creative writing.

Winners are selected for both categories and awarded with an increase in prize money to £2,500. Publication within the Aesthetica Creative Writing Anthology is also awarded to a further 60 writers whose works are highly commended.

Aesthetica is proud to champion new writing talent and supports its writing alumni beyond the Prize, offering print and digital publicity and continued exposure across our channels.

Poetry entries £12 | Short Fiction entries £18

Submissions close 31 August 2021

More details

 

James Berry Poetry Prize

Information
Closing date: 
1 July 2021
Entry: 
Open to poets of colour, who are UK residents who have not yet published a book-length collection, special consideration given to LGBTQ+/disabled poets and poets from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. No entry fee.
Prize: 
3 equal winners each to receive £1,000 prize, expert mentoring & debut collection published with Bloodaxe Books

PRIZE: 3 equal winners each to receive £1,000 prize, expert mentoring & debut collection published with Bloodaxe Books
The James Berry Poetry Prize will assist young and/or emerging poets of colour with mentoring to help them develop their work, followed by publication of their debut book-length collection with Bloodaxe Books. Devised by Bernardine Evaristo, OBE, and Nathalie Teitler, the prize is modelled on The Complete Works mentoring programme previously supported by Arts Council England.

The prize is free to enter. It is open to poets of colour, who are UK residents (permanently reside in the UK: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man) who have not yet published a book-length collection, with special consideration given to LGBTQ+/disabled poets and poets from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. It is the first national poetry prize to include both mentoring and book publication.

A panel of judges will choose three equal winning poets. Each year the winning poets will be invited to take part in an annual James Berry Poetry Prize reading as part of the Newcastle Centre for Literary Arts events series.
The prize is generously funded this year by Arts Council England.

More details

Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award 2021

Information
Closing date: 
1 July 2021
Entry: 
Writers writing in English and resident within the British Commonwealth and Eire, who have not yet published or self-published a full-length book No entry fee
Prize: 
First Prize £10,000, runners-up £1,000

Applications for the 2021 Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award are now invited.

Submissions can be made until 1 July 2021.

The judges of the 2021 DRF Writers Award will be Colm Tóibín (Chair), Deepa Anappara, Anna James and Ingrid Persaud. They will announce the shortlist of three in November 2021 and the Award will be presented in London on 7th December 2021.

An award of £10,000 will be presented to a first-time prose writer whose submission demonstrates literary talent and who would benefit from financial support to complete their work.

Submissions

  • Applicants may not be under contract to any publisher for any work or title in any language.
  • Applications are open to writers who have not previously published a full-length book of their own prose writing (including self-published or published on-line) excluding a collection of their own poetry. They may have published short prose writing within a magazine/anthology.
  • Submissions should be accompanied with a brief synopsis and biographical note.
  • Longlisted authors will be offered an editorial consultation with an agent at RCW.

More details

 

The Moth Short Story Prize 2021

Information
Closing date: 
30 June 2021
Entry: 
Open to all writers over 16. Entry fee €15 per story
Prize: 
1st prize €3,000, 2nd prize week-long writing retreat at Circle of Misse in France plus €250 travel stipend, 3rd prize €1,000

The Moth Short Story Prize is an important date on the literary calendar. Every year, a single judge is asked to choose three winning stories to feature in the autumn issue of The Moth.

This year's judge is award-winning story writer and novelist writer Ali Smith.

1st prize €3,000
2nd prize week-long writing retreat at Circle of Misse in France plus €250 travel stipend
3rd prize €1,000

The Prize is open to anyone (over 16) as long as the work is original and previously unpublished. There is a word limit of 5,000.

The entry fee is €15 per story. Closing 30 June 2021.

More details 

The 2021 Page Turner Awards

Information
Closing date: 
30 May 2021
Entry: 
Open to all writers over 18. Entry fees £20 for entries received by 28 February and £30 after that
Prize: 
£10,000 prize fund

New Writing and Book Awards Aims to Change Writing Careers

The Page Turner Awards were created to change writing careers with success stories from the most impressive first 10 pages submitted.

Five different awards aim to help writers and authors to get discovered with possible literary agency representation and potentially taking a published book from page to film.

The Page Turner Writing Award offers writers and authors the chance to enter the first 10 pages of a completed, unpublished fiction or non-fiction manuscript, where a group of literary agents will read the work with a chance to get it published. Submissions are open until 30 May.

The Five awards include:

The Writing Award

Young Writer Award

Screenplay Award

Writing Mentorship

Book Award

The award welcomes both emerging writers and all genres for fiction and non-fiction from any English-speaking country across the world.

The prestigious judging panel, made up of successful award-winning authors, literary agents and publishers, is looking for vivid, cinematic writing with captivating characters and unique voices.

Winners of the Writing Award may receive representation by a literary agent.

The £10K prize fund includes a wide range  of prizes.

For more details

 

The Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition 2020

Information
Closing date: 
15 May 2021
Entry: 
Unpublished and unagented writers of children’s fiction suitable for children/young adults aged somewhere between 7 and 18 years. No entry fee
Prize: 
A worldwide publishing contract with Chicken House with a royalty advance of £10,000, plus an offer of representation from a top literary agent

Enter The Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition

We no longer accept unsolicited manuscripts, but we do offer unpublished and unagented writers of children's fiction the chance to submit their work to the annual Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition. We're looking for original ideas, a fresh voice, a diverse range of entries and stories that children will love! We'd particularly like to encourage entry for BAME writers and others from underrepresented backgrounds. The competition will close for entries on 1 February 2021 at 11.59pm GMT.

The Times/Chicken House Prize is a worldwide publishing contract with Chicken House with a royalty advance of £10,000, plus an offer of representation from a top literary agent.

This year we're delighted to introduce an exciting new prize, sponsored by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), who are celebrating their 150th anniversary in 2021. The IET 150 Award will be awarded to a complete fiction manuscript for children aged 7 up to Young Adult that broadly explores or celebrates Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

By entering the competition, your manuscript will automatically be considered for both prizes by our expert team of readers. To enter, you must have written a completed full-length novel suitable for children/young adults aged somewhere between 7 and 18 years. By full-length we suggest a minimum of 30,000 words and ask that manuscripts entered do not exceed 80,000 words in length (please note these are suggested word counts). Read on for more details!

• About The Times/Chicken House Competition
• Barry's Tips
• Competition FAQs
• Competition Terms & Conditions

See also Top Writing tips from Managing Director Barry Cunningham

More details

 

Leapfrog Global Fiction Prize

Information
Closing date: 
3 May 2021
Entry: 
International entry. No entry fee
Prize: 
Adult Fiction prize and a Young Adult /Middle Grade prize. First Prize Publication contract offer from Leapfrog Press and Can of Worms Press with advance against royalties, Second Prize $150 and critiques

Leapfrog Global Fiction Prize

*Open for submissions until May 3rd*

The first Leapfrog Fiction Prize was established in 2009 as an additional means of discovering new writing. This year, we have rebranded the contest the Leapfrog Global Fiction Prize and have split the competition into two, providing both an Adult Fiction prize and a Young Adult /Middle Grade prize.

What to Enter

This year we have expanded to two awards for Adult novels, novellas, and short story collections, and Young Adult (YA) and Middle Grade (MG) novels. Minimum word count: 22,000. Individual stories in a collection may have been published in journals. Books that have been self-published will be considered "unpublished" if fewer than about 200 copies were printed.

We look for literary fiction and mainstream fiction, including science fiction. Generally we are less interested in strict genre fiction, but if a manuscript is good and grabs our attention, we don't care what the genre is.

Judging

All manuscripts will be reviewed by at least two Leapfrog and/or Can of Worms editors, and those that go to the second round of judging may be read by editors at other small presses as well.

Prizes

First Prize: publication contract offer from Leapfrog Press and Can of Worms Press, with an advance payment against royalties, plus the finalist awards (see below).

Finalists: $150 and one or two critiques of the manuscript from contest judges; permanent listing on the Leapfrog Press and Can of Worms contest pages as a contest finalist, along with short author bio and description of the book.

Semi-Finalist: Choice of a free Leapfrog and Can of Worms book; permanent listing on the websites.

Honourable Mention: listing on the Leapfrog Press and Can of Worms Press websites.


More details

 

 

The International Rubery Book of the Year Award 2021

Information
Closing date: 
31 March 2021
Entry: 
Open to all writers internationally who have published or self-published their work Entry fee £37
Prize: 
£1500 plus £150 for at least three category winners

The Rubery Prize is a prestigious international book award seeking the best books by indie writers, self published authors and books published by independent presses, judged by reputable judges. Creative writing is such a key part of life for those who enjoy writing yet it is increasingly difficult to become traditionally published. Through our reputation of finding quality and outstanding books we aim to bring recognition to the works that win and heighten an author's profile.

The Rubery Prize is a well-established name in the publishing world.

It is open to all writers internationally and is awarded to a book published in print or ebook form. Books published by independent presses and self published books are eligible to enter

We accept fiction (all genres), young adult, children's, biographies, non-fiction, self-help, cookery, poetry, photography etc. There are no limits on the type.

The winning book will be read by a top literary agent at MBA. They are under no obligation to take the winner on as a client but you are guaranteed that they will consider your work. Please also be aware that MBA, like most literary agents, does not represent poetry. A first prize winning poetry volume will still receive the prize money though.

Judges

Narinder Dhami and Clare Morrall.

For more details

The Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prizes 2021

Information
Closing date: 
7 March 2021
Entry: 
Open to writers of any nationality writing in English Entry fee for Best Unpublished Novel £49
Prize: 
£15,000 for Best Unpublished Novel, an advance on a publishing deal with Bonnier and £10,000 for Best Published Novel

Submissions for the two 2021 Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prizes are now open. The international prize is now in its sixth year. Entries are accepted from writers of any nationality, writing in English. The deadline is 7 March.

Best Published Novel (£10,000) - The Best Published Novel award is designed to celebrate the best adventure stories of the last year with novels being submitted by publishers, literary agents, or writers themselves. The 2020 award is open for submissions until 7 March 2021.

The award is open to writers of any nationality writing in English. Each September, under guidance from an expert judging panel, the title of Best Published Novel is presented to one winning author.

More details

Best Unpublished Manuscript. (£15,000 advance) The Best Unpublished Manuscript is designed to launch the career of aspiring adventure writers. The 2021 award is open for submissions until 7 March 2021.

Unpublished and self-published writers submit their manuscripts to be in with a chance of winning a publishing deal with Bonnier Books UK with an advance of £15,000.

Authors must not already have a novel published although self-published works are eligible. Authors must not have a literary agent. There is an entry fee of £49 per submission, Submissons and Feedback cost £11..

More details

Established in September 2015, The Wilbur & Niso Smith Foundation is a charitable organisation 'dedicated to empowering writers, promoting literacy and advancing adventure writing as a genre. Through our work, we want to reach out to writers and readers across the world, allowing everyone to have their own adventures through the words on a page.'

The 2021 International Book and Pamphlet Competition

Information
Closing date: 
1 March 2021
Entry: 
Open internationally. Entry fee £28, £25 to subscribers to The North
Prize: 
Publication by Smith|Doorstop Books; a share of £2,000 cash; a launch reading; publication in the North magazine; book vouchers from Inpress Books

The 2021 International Book & Pamphlet Competition is now open for entries

Judged by Daljit Nagra & Pascale Petit

DEADLINE: last post on Monday 1st March 2021, or midnight on Monday 1st March 2021 for online entrants.

ENTRY FEE: £28, or £25 for North subscribers, Friends of the Poetry Business and members of the Poetry Society.

PRIZES: Publication by Smith|Doorstop Books; a share of £2,000 cash; a launch reading; publication in the North magazine; book vouchers from Inpress Books and more.

The Poetry Business International Book & Pamphlet Competition remains the most established pamphlet competition in the UK. The Competition continues to discover and publish outstanding new poets, many of whom go on to publish widely and celebrate successful writing careers.

Entrants are invited to submit a collection of 20 pages of poetry. Four winners will be selected by the judges to be published by our award winning imprint, Smith|Doorstop books.

All winners will receive close editing, extending their entry up to 28 pages and are guaranteed pamphlet publication. There is also an opportunity to submit a full-length manuscript, which, where the judges feel it is appropriate, will be published as a book in the autumn of 2021.

Full-price entry is £28. Subscribers to The North, Friends of the Poetry Business, and members of the Poetry Society are eligible for the discounted fee of £25. All entrants will also receive a 20% code that can be used to purchase books or memberships from the Poetry Book SocietySpecialist book club founded by T S Eliot in 1953, which aims to offer the best new poetry published in the UK and Ireland. Members buy at 25% discount. The PBS has a handsome new website at  www.poetrybooks.co.uk website books at www.poetrybooks.co.uk.

More details https://poetrybusiness.co.uk/competitions/book-pamphlet-competition/